Friday, February 25, 2011

New Logo

Prepping for the wholesale show got me thinking about a new look for 2011 so I tinkered a bit with my logo. 


I have a wholesale show coming up in a month and I'm organizing  aMused Studio offerings for 2011. After a year with a very neutral beachstone inspired palette it's exciting to crash back into colour! There's a floral focus with these tulipy Muses which were inspired by tubs of tulips at the local florist.
My lineup for 2011 will include Muses, clay on wood panels, and wearable art that will combine fibre, resin and (fingers crossed) metal clay!

My kiln is currently at the border in Ontario- hopefully it will clear customs and head west soon!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Work in Progress and a Time Out

Here's my desk at 6:30 am. There are a few Muses underway here and even though there's a chaotic look to it all this is a rare view of my work table with a sense of organisation! I am resisting the temptation to sit down and open some packages of Premo because last night I realised I wasn't sleeping but thinking of a new way to use white clay. Everything on the desk and in my head is going to have to go on hold though because I'm heading out of town for a few days with my daughter. We plan to have some beach walks, read and get into our sketchbooks.
Here's a webcam view of the lovely beach... any kind of weather will be fine. A storm would be wonderful and clear skies could tempt us to have a beach fire and roast hot dogs and potatoes.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A decision after a set back and a matter of time.

I made two very cool pendants on Monday and torch fired them yesterday only to have them crumble afterwards. I'm diagnosing that at around 3/4 x1.5" they were too big. My tiny charm fired like a charm but I want to work with larger pieces. I'm going to set the metal clay aside and order a mini kiln. In the meantime I'm going to make some muses that may eventually pay for the kiln!

I've decided to get an Ultra Lite Beehive Kiln. I've contacted the manufacturer to see if there's a Canadian distributor.  Here's a  product review by Elaine Luther
* Update- the product is available in Canada from
a company in Ontario
(link removed- why give give advertising?) They are the only supplier in Canada but they sell this item in-store only and I'm a few thousand miles away! Why would they refuse a sale?... no clue- I'd have gladly paid shipping to support Canadian commerce. I've ordered from a US company.

I have a cool site to share today for those of you who, like me, lose their timers when items are firing in the oven etc. I discovered it when started torch firing and needed to count down 5 or 7 minutes.
 I'm using this online timer to remind me that things are ready to come out of the oven. Very handy.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Polymer Clay and UV Resin- Ultra Dome and Luer-Lok tips

I used these luer-lock dispensing tips from Ultra Dome  for the first time yesterday and they are terrific! The air bubble issue is reduced dramatically and the fine needle like point is a tool for spreading and easing the resin flow with extreme control.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Polymer Clay on Canvas- Sockeye Sunset

I am in a mood for colour!! This idea came when I was making a flyer for a show and was going through photos of previous work. I did a  3x3" mini-canvas with a moonrise and a salmon run in 2009 and it occurred to me to try a sunset. The idea of red spawning cockeye salmon was a natural addition to the theme... I'd like to go bigger with this idea. This one is 5x7" inches.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Polymer Clay on Canvas Diptych

I have flowers on my mind- perhaps it's because we have drifts of snow drops and the slight hint of purple crocus shoots along the sidewalks here in Canada's banana belt. After a morning walk to the village I completed this little polymer on canvas diptych yesterday.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Packing Heat and My First Copper Clay Piece!

Yesterday was good. I went to a lovely gallery that has been displaying my work for a while to show my latest canvases and polymer, resin and silk pendants and the proprietor said "I'll take two of everything!".
I returned home to find that my shiny new torch had arrived 3 days earlier than it was expected! This torch is not designed for browning a creme brule- it's seriously HOT. It's a BernzOmatic Trigger Start Micro Torch. It burns up to 2500F and it made a huge difference when I test fired this tiny "practice piece" charm made with Hagar's metal clay. I got the lovely peachy glow through the 7 minute firing time. I was enthralled. 
Now I'm so I'm torn- I've got the bug to do a couple of canvases, a lantern and of course to learn and learn and learn about metal clay!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A cup of Tea and Flower Power

It's a perfect Saturday. I was up very early and was able to complete two projects- Here's a 5x7 canvas with the Tea Time theme. I want to play with this for a while and aim to do a larger re-dux of Tea By the Sea that I did in a 5x7 format a couple of years ago. It was sold and I sort of miss it!

Springtime whispered a hint to me to add the silk ribbons to a selection of Flower Pendants I have had on my desk for a while. Rummaging through my stash of recycled sari silks to coordinate the colours was a joy.

This one is in Etsy

Friday, February 4, 2011

A Torch for Firing Metal Clay?... not a good start

This was not a good start with torch firing copper.
I made a pendant with Prometheus Clay which is okay
for torch firing according to the demo on their website. 
I realised in the first minute of the prescribed 5 minute
firing session that my current  torch is going to have to
be replaced. The trigger has to be held manually as there's
no lock on it. My finger was throbbing! There was a flare-up
as the filler burned off but I didn't get the peachy glow.
After five minutes I dropped the pendant in cold water,
lifted it out of the water and it fell apart. This torch just didn't
get the heat up to the right temperature. I'm not ready to buy
an expensive kiln so I'm going to research one of those gas
stove top kilns... or? 
Any suggestions or sources
for something under around $150 Cdn?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Something new with several inspiration points

Green Shade Gate is finished and I've actually started working with metal clay! I am on the learning curve and feel like I have 10 thumbs but I am enjoying the challenge. I have a specific idea in mind that has sprung from several sources- including some work I did myself!

Lesley Blackford c/o Polymer Clay Daily

Sue McNenly
Folk art from a craft stall in Santiago, Chile 
The Flower Seller... by me- I'm revisting an old idea and adding a new twist!
More ASAP!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Polymer Clay Wall Art- "Green Shade Gate"

She's finished! The piece is currently titled "Green Shade Gate". 
I enjoyed the suggestions about her hair colour- it's auburn and so many of you guessed correctly! What is in the basket? Lavender. I think she's heading to the Galiano Island Saturday market to sell fragrant fresh bunches. The suggestion for the basket to be filled with mushrooms was delicious. She's in a deciduous forest though so I think another piece with a lady in a coniferous forest searching for chantrelles would be lovely.
She's not entirely completed- this piece will be placed in a black or dark brown floating frame.

What is my next project? A hint... I'm doing a huge desk cleanup- buying a new can of butane and unwrapping my new firing block. Wish me luck!